Noobcake question about admissions/prep

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:20 pm

I won't bore you all with my life story. I'm a non-traditional applicant -- military from 1999-2005, went to a small, private liberal arts college afterwards, cumulative GPA between there and some other classes is 3.8. Right now I work in the oil business but it sucks and I'm going to law school instead.

My problem is that I work ridiculous shifts/hours. My schedule is 7 days of evening shift, 2 days off, 6 days of day shift, 1.5 days off, 7 days of midnight shift, 4 days off, then it starts over again. I frequently work 12/16 hour days.

Am I going to be able to take a prep-class on this kind of schedule, or should I not bother? The hours are severe and non-negotiable. I have a lot of down time at work but I have to be there a lot, so that is ideal for book studying (I already bought the logic games bible) and practice test taking.

Also, does being a non-trad (besides being a white male) hinder your ability to get into T14 schools? I live in NJ, so I wouldn't mind going to Penn/Cornell if that's what was offered after all is said and done.

Finally, should I try and take the LSAT in June? Or is it safe to wait and take in October? I want to apply for 2012. If I take the October one, will I have the scores, etc, in time for that year's application time?

FiveSermon
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:22 pm

Don't take a prep class. Read up on self prep strategies on these forums. They can be done on your schedule and are as effective if not more than most prep classes are.

Being non trad doesn't hurt you.

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:34 pm

Cool beans.

I'm 29, soon to be 30. Is that going to screw me? Is being a veteran a good soft, or do schools not give a shit about that?

FiveSermon
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:36 pm

OldTymeyFaceSmasher wrote:Cool beans.

I'm 29, soon to be 30. Is that going to screw me? Is being a veteran a good soft, or do schools not give a shit about that?


Veteran is a decent soft but softs won't help you unless you have the numbers anyways.

Age shouldn't be a big deal but I've heard being too young or too old can hurt when it comes to finding a job.

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:36 pm

FiveSermon wrote:
OldTymeyFaceSmasher wrote:Cool beans.

I'm 29, soon to be 30. Is that going to screw me? Is being a veteran a good soft, or do schools not give a shit about that?


Veteran is a decent soft but softs won't help you unless you have the numbers anyways.

Age shouldn't be a big deal but I've heard being too young or too old can hurt when it comes to finding a job.


Cool man, thanks.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:42 pm

If you are at least moderately intelligent and motivated, you don't need a prep course. You do, however, need to spend lots of time practicing. I'm a non-traditional also, and I think we may need to spend a little more time than college students, since it has been longer since we took maths classes, et cetera.

If you have lots of down time at work, that sounds ideal. If possible, I would also suggest using vacation days to practice, as you get closer to the test date. You'll need to be able to set aside 3-4 hour periods to take entire practice tests.

At this point, it would be best to wait until October to take the test. A high LSAT score is more important than an early application, and you can apply earlyish with an October LSAT score.

With a 3.8, you could definitely get into Penn/Cornell with a good LSAT score, but the LSAT score is crucial. Also, is 3.8 you LSAC GPA or your transcript GPA? LSAC has a special way of working out your GPA, and sometimes the numbers are significantly different.

Your age won't screw you. Being a veteran is probably a good soft, but softs don't count for much at all.

krad
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby krad » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:46 pm

You don't need a prep class. I travel a lot for work and didn't have the time (or really the $) to commit to one. Instead I followed a study guide and tips from here: http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/

Oct is not too late (it's what I took) but if you feel prepared by June it would give you a chance to retake in Oct if need be... I would have preferred to have the June score so that my apps weren't held up, but it didn't hurt me from what I can tell. Just have your apps ready and submit them ASAP.

I also want to echo the sentiment that being a veteran is a solid soft, if you have some decent #'s. Do well on the LSAT and you're set :)

Good luck!!

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:51 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:If you are at least moderately intelligent and motivated, you don't need a prep course. You do, however, need to spend lots of time practicing. I'm a non-traditional also, and I think we may need to spend a little more time than college students, since it has been longer since we took maths classes, et cetera.


Well I graduated last May, so I haven't been out of school long. But my degree was in English, so I didn't do a lot of math. The upside is that I've been working on electrical/mechanical/technical stuff since I was 17 years old, so my "functional" math is very good.

If you have lots of down time at work, that sounds ideal. If possible, I would also suggest using vacation days to practice, as you get closer to the test date. You'll need to be able to set aside 3-4 hour periods to take entire practice tests.

At this point, it would be best to wait until October to take the test. A high LSAT score is more important than an early application, and you can apply earlyish with an October LSAT score.


Thanks, I've been looking all over for an answer to that and you're the first person to know. I appreciate it. I will definitely wait until October, then.

With a 3.8, you could definitely get into Penn/Cornell with a good LSAT score, but the LSAT score is crucial. Also, is 3.8 you LSAC GPA or your transcript GPA? LSAC has a special way of working out your GPA, and sometimes the numbers are significantly different.


The 3.8 is a ball park, I guess, because I considered exactly what you said. I have a 3.73 from my 4 year school, and a 3.9 from the community college I went to beforehand. I just averaged them together, which is what the LSAC people do (at least, this is what I've been told). It could actually be higher than 3.8 -- I took some courses that are on my community college transcript after I had already graduated -- but I don't want to oversell it and look like a jerk and/or be completely wrong.

Your age won't screw you. Being a veteran is probably a good soft, but softs don't count for much at all.


Good. I'll just bust my ass for the LSAT, then. Thanks!

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nshapkar
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby nshapkar » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:36 pm

OldTymeyFaceSmasher wrote:I won't bore you all with my life story. I'm a non-traditional applicant -- military from 1999-2005, went to a small, private liberal arts college afterwards, cumulative GPA between there and some other classes is 3.8. Right now I work in the oil business but it sucks and I'm going to law school instead.

My problem is that I work ridiculous shifts/hours. My schedule is 7 days of evening shift, 2 days off, 6 days of day shift, 1.5 days off, 7 days of midnight shift, 4 days off, then it starts over again. I frequently work 12/16 hour days.

Am I going to be able to take a prep-class on this kind of schedule, or should I not bother? The hours are severe and non-negotiable. I have a lot of down time at work but I have to be there a lot, so that is ideal for book studying (I already bought the logic games bible) and practice test taking.

Also, does being a non-trad (besides being a white male) hinder your ability to get into T14 schools? I live in NJ, so I wouldn't mind going to Penn/Cornell if that's what was offered after all is said and done.

Finally, should I try and take the LSAT in June? Or is it safe to wait and take in October? I want to apply for 2012. If I take the October one, will I have the scores, etc, in time for that year's application time?



don't do june. you'll be fine taking it in october and sending out apps in november.

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ahduth
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby ahduth » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:42 pm

I'll run against the grain and say considering doing June... seeing how you do, then do October?

You're looking at top schools, so a single LSAT point is gold. I got a 173 in June and I'm still kicking myself for not retaking in October.

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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:42 pm

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Last edited by 98234872348 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ahduth
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby ahduth » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:47 pm

mistergoft wrote:
FiveSermon wrote:
OldTymeyFaceSmasher wrote:Cool beans.

I'm 29, soon to be 30. Is that going to screw me? Is being a veteran a good soft, or do schools not give a shit about that?


Veteran is a decent soft but softs won't help you unless you have the numbers anyways.

This is not true. As far as I've seen on these boards, being a veteran is the best non-URM soft there is and I have seen several veterans get into good schools with below average numbers.


In the end these schools pay cash money for LSAT scores. I wouldn't minimize the value of being a veteran - schools will look at you all day. But the LSAT score will get you money.

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98234872348
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:54 pm

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Last edited by 98234872348 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

FiveSermon
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:07 pm

mistergoft wrote:
FiveSermon wrote:
OldTymeyFaceSmasher wrote:Cool beans.

I'm 29, soon to be 30. Is that going to screw me? Is being a veteran a good soft, or do schools not give a shit about that?


Veteran is a decent soft but softs won't help you unless you have the numbers anyways.

This is not true. As far as I've seen on these boards, being a veteran is the best non-URM soft there is and I have seen several veterans get into good schools with below average numbers.


It may be one of the best non-URM soft but it still doesn't make my statement false.

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:10 pm

ahduth wrote:I'll run against the grain and say considering doing June... seeing how you do, then do October?

You're looking at top schools, so a single LSAT point is gold. I got a 173 in June and I'm still kicking myself for not retaking in October.


That doesn't look bad on an application? I assumed that the LSAT was like the GRE, the more you take it the worse you look. If that's not the case, I will shell out the extra bucks and take it in June and October.

I just wonder if 2 months is enough time to study for it. I'm smart, but jesus.

bhan87
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby bhan87 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:15 pm

OldTymeyFaceSmasher wrote:I won't bore you all with my life story. I'm a non-traditional applicant -- military from 1999-2005, went to a small, private liberal arts college afterwards, cumulative GPA between there and some other classes is 3.8. Right now I work in the oil business but it sucks and I'm going to law school instead.

My problem is that I work ridiculous shifts/hours. My schedule is 7 days of evening shift, 2 days off, 6 days of day shift, 1.5 days off, 7 days of midnight shift, 4 days off, then it starts over again. I frequently work 12/16 hour days.

Am I going to be able to take a prep-class on this kind of schedule, or should I not bother? The hours are severe and non-negotiable. I have a lot of down time at work but I have to be there a lot, so that is ideal for book studying (I already bought the logic games bible) and practice test taking.

You won't be able to use the prep class to its full effectiveness on this schedule. Even with a course, you need to spend just as much, if not more, time out of class doing your own preparation. The course is mainly useful to give you a structured schedule to study and gives you some level of accountability to try and finish homework. I personally found taking a course helpful, but many other succeed without it so it's really a question of what type of learner you are. But regardless of which route you go, I definitely recommend saving up and leaving your job if you're serious about going to law school. If you put your full devotion to studying for the LSAT, you can easily break into the T-14 with a 170+ (it takes serious dedication though)

Also, does being a non-trad (besides being a white male) hinder your ability to get into T14 schools? I live in NJ, so I wouldn't mind going to Penn/Cornell if that's what was offered after all is said and done.

Not an hindrance, and in some cases can be a plus (especially at schools like Northwestern and possibly Berk). Your work experience and veteran status will both be good softs.

Finally, should I try and take the LSAT in June? Or is it safe to wait and take in October? I want to apply for 2012. If I take the October one, will I have the scores, etc, in time for that year's application time?

Applying with an October score is fine. You won't be that disadvantaged by applying in November (ED is out, but with your GPA I wouldn't recommending ED'ing anywhere because with the right score you'd have a great shot at CCN anyway).

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ahduth
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby ahduth » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:16 pm

OldTymeyFaceSmasher wrote:
ahduth wrote:I'll run against the grain and say considering doing June... seeing how you do, then do October?

You're looking at top schools, so a single LSAT point is gold. I got a 173 in June and I'm still kicking myself for not retaking in October.


That doesn't look bad on an application? I assumed that the LSAT was like the GRE, the more you take it the worse you look. If that's not the case, I will shell out the extra bucks and take it in June and October.

I just wonder if 2 months is enough time to study for it. I'm smart, but jesus.


So... most (almost all) schools take your highest score. I don't remember the exact list - NYU claims to average (which may or not may be true), and Stanford and Yale do whatever they want. Everyone else just wants to post up the highest number possible.

I would try some practice tests. Don't get the foofy Kaplan crap, Testmasters or whatever - buy actual LSATs that were administered and see how you do:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/097930 ... F7G0VCF964

You might be surprised, I only took a few practice tests. For some of the stuff, particularly the reading comprehension you either get it... or you don't. Logic games can be learned. If you're not comfortable in June, don't do it. But if you prepare now, you might be able to turn a 173 into a 176. Which gets you into some very nice schools.

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98234872348
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:25 pm

.
Last edited by 98234872348 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:32 pm

bhan87 wrote:
You won't be able to use the prep class to its full effectiveness on this schedule. Even with a course, you need to spend just as much, if not more, time out of class doing your own preparation. The course is mainly useful to give you a structured schedule to study and gives you some level of accountability to try and finish homework. I personally found taking a course helpful, but many other succeed without it so it's really a question of what type of learner you are. But regardless of which route you go, I definitely recommend saving up and leaving your job if you're serious about going to law school. If you put your full devotion to studying for the LSAT, you can easily break into the T-14 with a 170+ (it takes serious dedication though)


I don't think I could do that. I need to work for as long as possible, and save up as much as possible, if/when I get accepted to a school and have to move, etc. I don't have any help -- my parents aren't around to help, I've got a daughter I'm trying to support financially (and in other ways, obviously, but long distance sucks, don't ever move away from your kids if you have any, take a job collecting garbage cans if you have to).

I'm pretty much on my own, so I have to save up cash to have that buffer if I need it. I graduated with practically no student loan debt from UG (less than 8k). All of this means, of course, that I'll be studying for the LSAT around my work schedule. So being ready by June is probably not realistic.

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eaglemuncher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby eaglemuncher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:33 pm

I dont want to speak for anyone else, but as a veteran I really don't think it helped me much. I got accepted to the schoools that I should have and waitlisted and denied at the schools I shouldn't have gotten in to. Also, I got waitlisted at one school that people with similar numbers no military got accepted to.

TBF, military was my only soft

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:34 pm

eaglemuncher wrote:I dont want to speak for anyone else, but as a veteran I really don't think it helped me much. I got accepted to the schoools that I should have and waitlisted and denied at the schools I shouldn't have gotten in to. Also, I got waitlisted at one school that people with similar numbers no military got accepted to.

TBF, military was my only soft


Enlisted or officer?

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eaglemuncher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby eaglemuncher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:35 pm

enlisted, marine corps

FiveSermon
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:36 pm

eaglemuncher wrote:enlisted, marine corps


Did you have combat experience? I've hear that helps but it may just be a rumor.

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eaglemuncher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby eaglemuncher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:39 pm

FiveSermon wrote:
eaglemuncher wrote:enlisted, marine corps


Did you have combat experience? I've hear that helps but it may just be a rumor.


Yeah, I actually highlighted that in my PS. I am not sure if that was a good idea or not. The truth is the schools really dont care. IIRC, Notre Dame was the only school that I applied to that asks directly if you have military experience. Others simply ask if you were discharged from the military other than honorably.

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OldTymeyFaceSmasher
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Re: Noobcake question about admissions/prep

Postby OldTymeyFaceSmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:40 pm

FiveSermon wrote:
eaglemuncher wrote:enlisted, marine corps


Did you have combat experience? I've hear that helps but it may just be a rumor.


Most employers/schools don't ask that question. They have to be very careful about running into perceived biases and/or psychological questions. The most you should really ever say is "I served in the Iraq war" or whatever, and that should be the end of it.

ETA: I learned this the hard way haha.
Last edited by OldTymeyFaceSmasher on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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